Scottish Tax Day Beer Dinner?! Du Vin, downtown Honolulu, Apr. 15



Du Vin's Troy Groendyke brings on the beer for the Hops & Grinds dinner, taking place April 15 at 6 p.m.

Courtesy: Du Vin

Andy Baker knows beer. If he says this month's Hops & Grinds Beer Dinner is inspired by Scottish beer taxes, we believe him.

Apparently, Scottish beers are taxed according to a formula: The richer and more powerful the beer, the higher the tax.

Baker has chosen beers that would result in the highest taxes. He will be willing to calculate the tax in shillings, should you ask him.

You can ask at his Hops & Grinds, Brasserie Du Vin, Friday, Apr. 15, 6 p.m.

Du Vin has a new, and more ambitious, chef, so you may just want to sit back and enjoy the food and pairings, perhaps forgetting for an evening the shillings that the IRS is taking from you this year. The new chef, James Rosenberry, cooked at Roy's Hawaii Kai for more than a decade, put in some time at Waikiki's Hula Grill. Here's what he and beer maven Baker have cooked up for Friday night:

Rogue Scottish Ale (from Oregon, but heavily malted like a Scottish beer). Paired with "Deconstructed Cock-a-Leekie Soup." Rosenberry has taken this traditional chicken, leek and barley soup and turned the flavors into an appetizer, reducing the Scotch broth down to a jus.

Traquair House Ale (from the Scottish border region). Paired with smoked salmon risotto and Twin Farms asparagus. "We got in some great Scottish smoked salmon," says Rosenberry. "We always have good cheeses lying around, so I am doing the risotto with Manchego, which is even better than Parmesan."

Unibroue Maudite (a Belgian-style beer from Quebec, which Baker assures me would pay a lot of taxes if it happened to be Scottish). Paired with rack of lamb, plus "tatties and neeps." Tatties and neeps are Scottish for potatoes and parsnips. "The Scots boil them and serve them with butter and parsley," says Rosenberry. "I've got to come up with something better than that. I love having these deadlines, they make you creative."

John Barleycorn Barleywine (above) is dark, powerful stuff from Blue Lakes, Calif.  Baker says it's a cousin of the Scottish original. For dessert, it's paired with butterscotch custard and almond shortbread.

This all sounds so good, and so out-of-the-box—especially for a $50 four-course dinner complete with beer—that Biting Commentary may see you there Friday night.

Brasserie Du Vin, 1115 Bethel Street, 545-1115.

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